Commentary: Making headway against graft and corruption
By Rodrigo S. Victoria
Naval, Biliran (12 September) -- The guilty verdict of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada of the plunder case by the Sandiganbayan today will now erase the old notion embedded in the minds of the Filipino people that only the small fishes are caught when we speak of graft and corruption.
Former President Ferdinand Marcos was not handed a guilty verdict by a competent court of his kleiptocracy during his regime. Perhaps he would be the first head of state in our country to receive a guilty verdict as what had wished by everybody but the succeeding events had overtaken a conviction coming from a competent court.
After the aborted and supposed good catch of former President Marcos, allegations of corruption involving some top officials including the the people occupying the very least of positions in the government bureucracy is always in the limelight from one presidency up to the present Arroyo administration.
Nowadays, when news on graft and corruption erupts, everybody just give a blank stare to each other and just wait when will the wrath falls to where it is due.
Expression of hopelessness in the faces of the Filipino people on cases of graft and corruption is always the prevailing mood of the day leaving a big question mark when can we see a big fish to be put in jail for that matter.
After the dark clouds of uncertainty in the drive against graft and corruption hovered the archipelago, the conviction at last of a big fish in the person of former President Estrada would now pave a bright and promising way for the long and still ardous task of the government to slowly but surely put behind bars people involved in robbing the treasury of the government.
Perhaps the people who are into graft and corruption and those who intend to join the bandwagon of thieves are now shivering in fear or having a second thought of stopping their illegal acts detrimental to the majority of the Filipino people with the conviction of former President Estrada.
We hope that they have still the courage to change heart from evil to being good.
The conviction of the first Philippine President today in a plunder case is also a big push for the authorities involved in the lonely fight against a social cancer that is slowly eroding the trust and confidence of the Filipino people in some of our public officials. We are all sure that they find strength in Erap Estrada going to jail.
Today is a victory for all the Filipino people for we have just put an end to a high profile case involving the highest official of the land and put a closure to a hghly divisive period in our country's history that partly stalled our country to move on. (PIA-Biliran) [top]